There will be no last-minute reprieve for the rescue helicopter based at the Brunswick Naval Air Station.
The naval air station said farewell Monday to its search and rescue helicopter, ending 50 years of service to the state.
Since 1954, helicopter crews have rescued fishermen at sea, helped state game wardens search for lost hikers and lifted injured climbers off windy mountain tops.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is working on a plan in Congress that might restore helicopter service to the base in the future. For now, Navy officials say search and rescue missions will have to be performed by U.S. Coast Guard helicopters based on Cape Cod or by Maine Air National Guard helicopters in Bangor.
"There are six lives out there walking the streets because of these men and women and what they have done," BNAS Commander Robert Winneg said, referring to the six people who were rescued in 2003.